ABC victors in 18-49 demo; CBS tops overall viewers

ABC and CBS were neck and neck in key categories on the final Tuesday of the November sweep, with the former riding the two-hour “Dancing With the Stars” finale and the latter boosted by the first crossover involving the night’s two “NCIS” shows.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, ABC edged past CBS to win in adults 18-49 while they tied in adults 25-54 and the Eye held the edge in total viewers.

ABC kicked off the night with the fall finale of “V” (3.1/9 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), which was in line with the previous week’s delivery and placed second or third in most categories. It was followed by the season finale of “Dancing With the Stars” (4.3/12 in 18-49, 19.2 million viewers overall), which won its time period and hit season highs; still, this was the lowest-rated conclusion for the franchise.

At CBS, “NCIS” (4.4/13 in 18-49, 20.3 million viewers overall) opened the night with a dominant showing, standing as the night’s top program in both demos and total viewers. And when “NCIS” character Abby crossed over to help solve a murder on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” the rookie spinoff logged best-since-premiere scores (4.3/11 in 18-49, 17.2 million viewers overall), winning its hour in demos. Closing out the night was “The Good Wife” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 12.5 million viewers overall), which was up a bit week to week thanks to the stronger lead-in.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” held up well despite the tougher competition (3.5/10 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), down slightly week to week but up nicely year to year. And “The Jay Leno Show” was on the high end of its ratings range, placing third at 10 p.m. (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) was understandably most affected by the “Dancing With the Stars” competition, finishing a distant fourth and slipping week to week.

CW aired repeats of “90210″ (0.5/2 in 18-49, 1.2 million viewers overall) and “Melrose Place” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall). Bothe return with original episodes next week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.9/11; CBS, 3.8/11; NBC, 2.9/8; Fox, 2.1/6; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.6 million; ABC, 15.9 million; NBC, 7.6 million; Fox, 5.4 million; Univision, 3.7 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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